Why SpaceX’s Falcon 9 is launching 64 tiny satellites into orbit
The companies launching satellites aboard the SpaceX rocket hope to revolutionize the Internet of Things.
- SpaceX is providing the rocket for the mission, while a Seattle-based company organized the payload.
- The mission will deploy satellites from various providers, including startups and government agencies.
- Most of these providers hope to be the first to build a new kind of network to support the Internet of Things.
SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket is set to launch 64 satellites into orbit on Wednesday, the largest number deployed in a single mission from U.S. soil.
The mission—dubbed "Spaceflight SSO-A: SmallSat Express"—will deploy satellites from multiple providers, including six startups that seek to revolutionize the Internet of Things by sending tiny, centimeters-long satellites into low Earth orbit.
The Internet of Things, or IoT, is the interconnection of computing devices embedded in everyday appliances and devices, which enables them to send and receive data via the internet. Some technologies that rely on this network include smart meters, agricultural and fishery sensors, and pipeline and environmental monitors, all of which require relatively tiny amounts of bandwidth to operate, compared to, say, an online video game.
Big potential in the IoT market
SpaceX may be supplying the rocket, but the mission was organized by Seattle-based CubeSat company Spaceflight Industries, which believes that lowered barriers of entry will lead to big potential for communications companies supporting the Internet of Things. According to a 2018 McKinsey report, the IoT market is estimated to be worth about $581 billion in information and communications spending by 2020.
"Low earth orbit is not unlike smartphones," Curt Blake, president of Spaceflight, told Wired. "When you really lower the cost of phones—or rocket launches—people come up with a whole bunch of new applications."
Helios Wire, an IoT company with a satellite set to launch on Wednesday, plans to eventually deploy a constellation of 28 satellites that will enable new types of applications, specifically within analytics and blockchain.
"The IoT industry is very much in a growth phase. For Helios, the goal isn't only to connect devices and aggregate data, it's also to improve the applications and services that can be layered atop the network," said CEO Scott Larson. "The ability to allow for not only machine-to-machine communication, but also machine-to-machine transactions using the blockchain, is very intriguing. It is the economy of machines and the service offering will add very real value."
Wednesday's mission is separate from SpaceX's Starlink project, which seeks to provide all corners of the planet with wireless internet beamed from 7,500 satellites in low Earth orbit. In November, the FCC approved the final stage of the Starlink project.
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- WATCH: SpaceX's Demo-2 launch hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson - Big Think ›
Researchers have just discovered the remains of a hybrid human.
90,000 years ago, a young girl lived in a cave in the Altai mountains in southern Siberia. Her life was short; she died in her early teens, but she stands at a unique point in human evolution. She is the first known hybrid of two different kinds of ancient humans: the Neanderthals and the Denisovans.
These thought leaders, founders, and entrepreneurs are propelling the kind of future we want to be a part of.
- The tech industry may be dominated by men in terms of numbers, but there are lots of brilliant women in leadership positions that are changing the landscape.
- The women on this list are founders of companies dedicated to teaching girls to code, innovators in the fields of AI, VR, and machine learning, leading tech writers and podcasters, and CEOs of companies like YouTube and Project Include.
- This list is by no means all-encompassing. There are many more influential women in tech that you should seek out and follow.
Most said they want to act on their desire someday. But do open relationships actually work?
- The study involved 822 Americans who were in monogamous relationships at the time.
- Participants answered questions about their personalities, sexual fantasies, and intentions to act on those fantasies.
- Research suggests practicing consent, comfort, and communication makes open relationships more likely to succeed.
Consensual non-monogamy fantasies<p>For the new study, published in <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10508-020-01788-7" target="_blank">Archives of Sexual Behavior</a>, researchers asked 822 people in monogamous relationships to:</p><ul><li>Describe their favorite sexual fantasy, defined as "mental images you have while you are awake that you find to be sexually arousing or erotic."</li><li>Select which themes apply to that fantasy, such as having sex with multiple people at the same time, experimenting with taboos, or engaging in a sexually open relationship.</li><li>Answer whether they intended to carry out these fantasies, and discuss them with their partner.</li><li>Complete assessments on relationship satisfaction, erotophilia and personality, as measured by the Big Five Personality inventory.</li></ul><p>The results showed that 32.6 percent of participants said being part of a sexually open relationship was "part of their favorite sexual fantasy of all time." More surprising is that, of that one-third, 80 percent said they want to act on this fantasy in the future.</p>
Pretzelpaws via Wikipedia Commons<p style="margin-left: 20px;">"The present research confirms the important distinction between sexual fantasy and sexual desire in that not everyone wanted to act on their favorite sexual fantasy of all time," study author Justin J. Lehmiller told <a href="https://www.psypost.org/2020/09/one-third-of-people-in-monogamous-relationships-fantasize-about-being-in-some-type-of-open-relationship-study-suggests-58102" target="_blank">PsyPost</a>. "This suggests that fantasies may serve different functions for different people."</p><p>Even though most participants said they want to act out their fantasy in the future, far fewer reported acting out sexual fantasies in the past. Other findings included:</p><ul><li>Men were more likely to fantasize about CNMRs.</li><li>So were people who scored high in <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erotophilia#:~:text=Erotophilia%20is%20a%20personality%20trait,ranging%20from%20erotophobia%20to%20erotophilia." target="_blank">erotophilia</a> and sociosexual orientation.</li><li>The psychological predictors of fantasizing about CNMRs differed from predictors about infidelity fantasies.</li></ul>
Do open relationships work?<p>A <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00224499.2019.1669133" target="_blank">2019 study</a> from psychologists at the University of Rochester suggests it <em>is </em>possible<em>, </em>but especially when both partners practice a trio of behaviors: consent, communication, and comfort — or, the Triple-C Model.<br></p>But the study also suggests not all forms of open relationships are equally viable. For example, people in one-sided CNMRs — where one partner stays monogamous, the other seeks outside sexual relationships — were nearly three times more dissatisfied in their relationships than the monogamous group <em>and </em>the consensual non-monogamous group.
The results of this study showed depressive symptoms being highest in adolescence, declining in early adulthood and then climbing back up again into one's early 30s.